Don't Clean Teeth With Mr. Clean Magic Erasers: Dentists Warn Against New TikTok Trend

Multiple dentists have come out against a dangerous new viral trend: cleaning one's teeth with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. While that may sound like something that should go without saying, the trend has nonetheless gained major traction on TikTok, with the original video gaining over 255,000 likes since it was posted in June.

The dangerous "tip" was first spread in a video shared by the user, Heather Dunn. In it, she claims that, while the tactic might draw criticism from professionals, her dentists have praised her for having "the healthiest, strongest, cleanest teeth."

Dunn later refutes the common recommendation from dentists to use fluoride for clean, healthy teeth. She also claims to have been using a combination of coconut oil and Magic Erasers for around two years.

"Yes, I am prepared for all the dentists that are going to come on here and be like, 'don't do it, she's crazy!' I don't care," Dunn says in the TikTok video.

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Numerous dental professionals have spoken out against a viral TikTok trend encouraging people to clean their teeth with Mr. Clean Magic Erasers. This picture taken on October 5, 2020 shows the logo of social media TikTok on a tablet screen in Toulouse, southwestern France. Lionel Bonaventure/Getty Images

Magic Eraser is a Mr. Clean-branded line of cleaning pads made with melamine foam, a substance known to contain formaldehyde-copolymers and sulfurous acid. Formaldehyde is notably used in the funeral business to embalm and preserve corpses for display. Speaking with the Miami Herald, Proctor & Gamble, Mr. Clean's parent company, claimed that the formaldehyde-copolymers in Magic Erasers are not the same as normal formaldehyde and pose "no health or safety risks."

In effect, melamine pads act similarly to sandpaper, allowing them to clear away tough household stains and messes. The packaging for Mr. Clean Magic Eraser includes a warning not to use the product on "skin or other parts of the body."

"The Mr. Clean Magic Eraser was designed to clean hard surfaces and, as noted on the product label, is not intended for use on skin or other parts of the body, including teeth," Proctor & Gamble told Newsweek in a statement.

In response to Dunn's video, a Texas-based orthodontist, Benjamin Winters, made a video warning viewers, in no uncertain terms, that Magic Erasers should never be used on teeth. Winters' clip has been viewed over 1.5 million times on YouTube.

"A Magic Eraser is actually made of melanine [sic] foam," Winters explains. "It's basically foam that's hard as glass and acts as a really abrasive sandpaper, meaning, yeah, your teeth are white because you scrubbed all the enamel off. So, in fact, no, don't do this."

Another dental professional, Charlie Cooper, told WHAS11 News that the sulfurous acid in Magic Erasers could have significant long-term effects on the health of one's teeth.

"The enamel is the hard outer shell, and the way acid attacks enamel is by demineralizing it," Cooper said. "When it's gone, it's gone. It sets up the teeth being a little more susceptible to attack from bacteria which then leads to decay as well as creating sensitivity."

Updated July 17, 2021, 12:52 PM ET, with a statement by Procter & Gamble.